Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday Garden Update


The San Francisco Bay Area often has an odd bit of warm weather in February.  My memory tells me that we typically spend a glorious few days running around in short sleeves, before returning to our proper winter.  This year is that there really hasn't been much of a winter.  So much of the rest of the country is covered in snow. And we're stuck in climate limbo.

In the last few days, my pluot tree has started to bloom, as have our fava beans.

Our younger hens -- who we had nicknamed "The Adventure Chickens" have been flying over the fence into the vegetable garden.  Our poor chard has been reduced to a cluster of stems.  The kale looks equally bad.

Robb has been building more fencing for the garden.  He individually mills each picket.  You can see an unpainted bundle of sticks on the table in the center of this photo.  The fence pictured here is protecting the strawberry and currant plants, which I'm certain our fruit-obsessed hens would love to devour.

The string that runs along our neighbor's garage marks where we'll be adding more fencing.  Remember the stripping-and-repainting project?  I'm not sure I ever wrote about replacing the window but it is such an improvement.

If you're wondering about the round black thing on the grass, or about the thing to the left of the glider bench, that's how we grow new grass.  If Robb and I did not share our yard with six voracious hens, we could just amend our soil with compost and sprinkle grass seed.  However, both those activities send our chickens into a destructive frenzy.  So we cover newly seeded areas with wire mesh until the grass is strong enough to withstand the attentions of our hens.

I bought a dozen Jersey Knight asparagus crowns at Pollinate Farm & Garden on Sunday after the cheese making class.  I dug up the soil near the World's Ugliest Fence, and added heaps of compost.  I'm not really sure what to expect from these plants.  We had asparagus in our vegetable garden when I was a growing up in Maryland.  The climate in Northern California is so different from where I learned to garden originally.  For some reason, I find planting perennial vegetables daunting.  This, of course, makes no sense.  I'm unafraid of grafting fruit trees, or of catching swarms of wild honeybees.  But committing to asparagus makes me nervous.

I'm a weirdo.

The asparagus is planted in front of the cinderblock wall on the left side of this photograph.  On the right side of the photo, you can see our fava bean patch.

In previous years, I stupidly bought beans that were marketed for garden soil amendment, and which may not have been intended for human consumption at all.  Unsurprisingly, neither Robb nor I were particularly keen on those beans.  This year we're growing the Windsor variety, which we hope we'll enjoy.

And speaking of beans, here's a photo of today's lunch.  We finally opened the pickled beans we made last summer.  These particular beans are Roc d'Or, a beautiful yellow variety.  The boiled eggs are from our hens -- all but Harriet and Lydia are laying at the moment.  And the beautiful loaf of bread was baked by Robb.

Life is good.

And if you want to see what other gardeners are up to, skip on over to Daphne's blog for her weekly garden party.  It's always fun to see what folks are up to.  (I imagine that Daphne is buried in snow at the moment.)

A Year Ago

Two Years Ago

Three Years Ago

Four Years Ago

Five Years Ago

Six Years Ago

Seven Years Ago

Eight Years Ago   

Nine Years Ago   




Stoney Acres said...

Wow I envy your climate. I lived in the north bay area for a couple of years and loved the warm winters! Your garden is looking beautiful!

michelle hamer said...

That's what my chard and and kale would look like if I didn't keep it draped or in the midst of fluttering scare tape and clanking plastic water jugs. Only I don't get the consolation prize of some really good looking eggs. Weird weird weather, I wish it would rain again.

norma chang said...

The Adventure Chicken knows what's good, interesting that it only eats the leaves and not the stems. Good luck with your asparagus.

Daphne Gould said...

Asparagus has trouble committing to me. I plant it and it dies. I do have few plants left, but I've given up.

ellen kirkendall said...

I am considering asparagus, not this coming summer (if it ever arrives) but the one after. I've got the spot picked out but too many projects this year to tackle it. I'll be watching yours with interest. I wonder if my groundhog is a more formidable opponent than your chickens.


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